What do you think of this power cord?


Maze Audio is a family-owned company that states it hand-makes its cables in the US.  There is a range of prices for power cables, but I was looking at this entry cable.  I don’t see any mention of the metal used in the cables, but I don’t know if that is as crucial for power cables as for interconnects.  I am interested in your opinions.  Thanks.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Maze-Audio-Eden-Series-Black-Orange-AC-Audio-Power-Cord-Cable-10-Ga-Audioph...
bob540
What I think is you are using the freebie rubber power cord that came in the box. Probably anything, literally anything, is better than that. But if you are talking about spending money, even only $60, then reading eBay ads is not the way to do it. Nor reading anyone else’s ads for that matter. Nor reading any engineering, materials, geometry, etc stories. Forget all that.

Instead what you do is buy only what you have tried and heard yourself, or read a lot of reviews or user comments, and like what they have to say about how it sounds. Because everything, every wire, power cord, interconnect, or speaker cable, it all totally affects sound quality. Not in some subtle hard to hear way either, but big and obvious, sometimes dramatically so. It depends a lot on what you have in the rest of your system. Not because the power cord needs to be "matched" either. This is BS. Whatever a power cord sounds like, it will sound like no matter what its plugged into. But it matters because you don’t want to spend $500 on a power cord to plug in to charge your iPad. Not because you won’t be able to hear what the $500 power cord can do either, but because at that level you can get a whole lot more with something else.  

You probably won’t find many reviews on this particular power cord. What I would do, search around for used power cords by known long term makers like Synergistic Research. There will definitely be reviews, and some very good cords will be old enough you will be able to buy a lot more for your money for a lot less than they cost new. But even then do not buy based on price, but based on reviews. Listener impressions. Only way to go.
"These cables start with audiophile grade 10 gauge OFC copper wire."

It is in the description lower on the page.

It should be as good as any cable that works. It probably does look better. Pay attention to length.
Thanks glupson for seeing that, but is that the really good copper?  Some cables are described in more elaborate ways . . . can I remember? . . . “Oxygen free” . . . Something like “free strand” . . . “Cardas copper, the best quality copper on the planet!”    I guess I should not just want copper but some form of super-copper?

Chuck, that is probably a good suggestion, to look for used cable for sale.  I take it that cables don’t decline in performance with age? I recall your stating that cables are important and should be about 20% of the money spent on your entire system.  I only have about $7,000 in my system, and only 5% of that was cables.  To get to 20%, I would spend about $1600 on cables for a total system cost of about $8000 to get to that ratio.  I could go the DIY route to save money, but I don’t trust myself to not screw it up somehow. 

bob540,


OFC in the description means "oxygen free copper". As far as "the best copper on the planet", etc, would you advertise the product that not many need and you ask substantial money for as "made of just an average material"?


To put things in the other perspective, I recently, a week or two ago, bought a few "aftermarket" power cords. Stock ones were just fine, but too long. Made a mess behind the equipment. I did try to compare. I am happy that I bought them as they are the right length now, but as far as sound goes, I would recommend you take some kid for ice-cream instead of spending money on power cords. Someone can talk about synergy, this, that, add a few more wise things, but ice-cream is a better deal, no matter how you look at it. It may even earn you a few karma points that power cords will not. Those power cords are from bona fide audio company and they were as cheap as aftermarket cables go, but still more expensive than what I already had.


If you decide to pursue cords, make sure you know in advance when you will stop. There are many "best coppers in the world" vying for your money and each one is more expensive than the previous one.

The copper in your walls is 6 nines. 99.9999 pure copper. I've considered some aftermarket cords but only because the ones that come with components are sometimes a hassle to keep neat they're so long. 

djones51,

That is exactly why I bought them and I do not regret it.

Post removed 
I'll tell you this about the woven cables they make.  They are good inexpensive, OFC cables. Double grounds, work well for floor noise issues. I use something very close, I DIY. I don't recommend it if you're not comfortable, or good at it.. 

They make a decent product, at a decent price. Get copper ends, the weave, you got a good product.

There is not a number of dollars you need to spend, MC was referring to a given budget.  See the difference.  TOTAL, before you buy any gear.
After the fact..

NOT every aftermarket cable is better than factory. Krell, comes to mind, there are a few more..

BUT stock 16, 14, 12. No.. They will get you buy. BUT PC per say are pretty low on my list. It also depends where it's at, for the most part. Don't use junk on your amps, pre or source, that's for darn sure.

Once they are cooked and let settle for 1-200 hours, no cooker, 300 hours. Makes a difference...

Regards
These abbreviations get me confused sometimes.  I read “NOS tubes” and thought “NOS must make some fine tubes — so popular they are a rare find!”   Then I see that meant “new, old tubes”.  Not a company per se.  

And when they write OFC, I wonder why a company doesn’t just spell it out for us newbies?  Could it be their defense if found that their copper is not oxygen-free, “We never said it was.  We said it was OFC . . ordinary factory cable!”   😳

I saw Maze’s woven cables also . . . $200+.  They look fancy.  Not sure I want to spend that much money on a PC (which I originally thought stood for “personal computer”).  Audio Advisor advertises Pangea power cable for about $100, but reviews are mixed.  Audioholics claims that beyond a basic level of quality, more expensive power cables are just hype and don’t matter.  Then some say to “listen, then decide”, but some say the differences are due to the “placebo effect” and only real to my imprecise mind.  Who knows?

Thanks for the information.
Looks ok don't expect killer sound for $59.00.Good luck though.
I recommend you take a look at the least expensive offerings in power cords from Cullen and Audio Envy.  Either of those is likely going to be better than this...
These end look to me like Oyeida 046 ends. If they are, they are very good, but have a tube-like sound....kind of rolled off highs, etc.  I made my own cable (quite easy)...with Furutech top of the line  looks like woven carbon fiber ends

I can't speak the the "Eden Series" from Maze Audio but I am trying out the "Ref 4 Krell Cryo" power cords in my system. I have 3 in place right now: 1) between my Bryston MPS2 power supply and my Bryston BIT-15 power conditioner, and 2) between the wall and my BIT-15 power conditioner. I have a 3rd that will go from either the wall to my Bryston 4B2 power amplifier or from the BIT-15 to my Bryston 4B2.

I have been listening intently in the evenings and trying to imagine if I can detect much sonic difference. I would say that there is a definite difference compared to the stock power cords. I do feel that the increase in detail is immediately noticeable but that with repeated listening things simmer down and the detail and the quietness and smoothness balance out better over time.

The woven construction with the brown jacketing, combined with the polished silver of the Krell plugs is pretty great looking. For what you pay, I am not disappointed. I don't have much experience with other aftermarket power cords, just my subjective recollection of changes in sound quality compared with stock.

Twoleftears nailed it.
@masi61, I see you are in Dayton, OH too!  Ever been to the Hanson store in Kettering?
@masi61. How flexible are Maze Audio PC's which you purchased?
I purchased some Pangea PC's and find that they are very stiff. They offered some improvement in SQ for me, but not dramatic.
Other than aesthetics, I doubt they offer anything else that a simple standard copper cable cannot provide. 10 gauge is an overkill and does not make sense on a 120 Volt circuit since it is able to carry about 45 amps but your typical household outlet and panel fuse will only allow up to about 20 amps. If you have an amp with about 1000 WRMS/channel, then maybe you may need such a wire. But then again, such amps are typically wired to a 240 Volt circuit.
I think it will do an excellent job of getting the power from the wall to your equipment.
I have a long-standing rule that anything power-related must be UL listed. No listing, no sale. Signal Cable gets my vote for quality power cords that are reasonable priced.
@cakyol:  I am interested in your comments regarding wire gage.  I was thinking that 10 gauge would be superior somehow to higher gauges, and even the inexpensive Maze cable I asked about is 10 gauge.  Then I took twoleftears’ advice and checked Cullen and Audio Envy.  Cullen has a Crossover model that is less than $200 but is only 12 gauge.  They have 10 gauge cables, Crossover II, but they are twice as expensive.  If, as you say, 12 gauge is fine, I could buy a couple of the 9 gauge cables and could spend less than $400.

Carbonmiller, those Synergist cables you recommended are good, I’m sure, but I’m not looking to spend thousands of dollars on a PC.  

Audio Envy might make good cables, but there was something about their site that didn’t seem as professional . . the wording and such.
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@bob540 - You might want to include Signal Cable on your short list. The MagicPower PC is 10AWG and at $79 (3ft) is a bargain. Many happy users.

http://signalcable.com/magicpower.html
bob540,

Let’s add one more brand with inexpensive cables that look fine, are reasonably flexible, and come in different lengths.

https://www.zuaudio.com/cable?category=Power

They do sell on eBay via auction. It is them, not somebody else selling their cables. Their offers on eBay get regularly updated so, if you do not see what interests you today, check it out in a day or two.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/zu_promos/m.html?item=363074552303&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
Thank you both — I have my homework!
When it comes to gauges, I am not sure how it goes. Zu describes their cheaper cables as 9/13/13 and most expensive ones as 9/9/9 and gives other measurements (resistance, etc.). Signal Cable says 10 and that is it. On the picture, they look very similar in size.

Speaking of end-game equipment, Zu lists "Life Expectancy: 100 years+" Can you beat it?
@bob540 , Yes I know about Hanson Audio in Oakwood & also Cincinnati. It is where I got all my Bryston gear through. 

The Maze Audio cords I purchased are a woven design and therefore quite thick. They are pretty flexible though.
Among other things, the weak point of most power cables/connections is heat dissipation.  We do FLIR (infrared imaging) test of cables in burn-in and here are some images:  https://www.onfilter.com/cable-temperature  We use pretty good industrial-grade cables, yet even they "shine" when it comes to a couple of hours under nominal current.
Hi bob540,

How much power does your amp require ? Add up the wattage of all channels (in case you have a multichannel amp) of your amp, multiply that by 2.5 to account for losses and very dynamic music passages and the peak power requirement, and that is how much power you need to draw from your mains outlet. Divide that by your mains rms voltage (typically 120 in the US) and that is roughly your current requirement.

For example, if you have a stereo amp with 300 Watts RMS per channel from a 120 Volt supply:

- your power requirement is (300 + 300) x 2.5 = 1500 watts.
- your max current requirement is 1500 /120 = 12.5 amps.

to be on the safe side, say 13 amps.

Most houses are wired with 15 or 20 amp max Romex mains cable, which will most likely be 12 gauge ( https://www.cerrowire.com/products/resources/tables-calculators/ampacity-charts/ )

So ANY multistrand pure copper wire <= 12 gauge would work. In fact, at the 60 Hz mains frequency, even a solid wire would be much more than acceptable but a multistrand cable will bend more easily and be flexible.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS, YOU DO NOT NEED ANY FANCY CABLES FOR POWER. ANY fully copper cable 12 and lower gauge will work more than satisfactorily.

Having said the above, if your amp is more of a welding machine than an audio amp (power requirement > 2000 watts), then you have to think of using 220/240 volt mains anyway, in which case, all the calculations will have to be remade.

So save your money. DO NOT spend too much on power cords and maybe even speaker cables. Where you should spend your cable money is on properly SHIELDED cables on your phono stages and ANALOG low level signal stages. Also, just like power cords, you do NOT need to spend money on DIGITAL (HDMI, ethernet) cables either as long as they are within the speed specs, they do not bring any benefit, it is all snake oil.

As "turnbown" also very importantly indicated above, make sure whatever you re buying is UL certified unless you want to make your insurance company happy for not having to pay you for the fire which you may cause.


Ok, so my amp is rated at 400 watts when playing thru my 4 ohm speakers.  So double that is 800, and 2.5 times that is 2000.

Max current requirement is 2000/120 = approx. 16.6 amps.  Not sure what amps that circuit is on (can’t get to it easily due to junk in garage), but I haven’t blown anything yet.  Of course, I have other equipment on that line too.

I seldom listen to music loud; more to relax and enjoy.  So 12 AWG is fine for power cord?
Yes, 12 awg is adequate :-)
I have Audio Envy OE powercord. I compared it with AQ Blizzard for the esoteric k07xs sacd player. Tue Audio envy Is far superior.All the cables(speaker and interconnect cable) have the same character. Details, natural. neutral and fluid. But the cables need 200 hours burn in as minimum. Before 200 hours you perceive the details but very bright and fatigueing sound. After the cable become very natural.I guess that it isn good for the very cold and analitical equipment.They destroyed the PAD Aqoueos rca and audioquest volcano in my system.
@amadeus888:  That is another question — the Audio Envy OE p3 cable is grounded, while the OE p2 cable is not grounded.  The site states that one cable should be grounded and the rest not grounded. I’ve not read that about any other cable.  What do you make of that?  If you have more than one such cable, do you follow this advice?
Grounding is a safety consideration.  Do what the manufacturer and the NEC recommend regarding grounding.  Your electric power runs miles over aluminum wire.  At your house it changes to copper.  Normal builder grade copper Romex - anywhere from a few feet to a hundred or more depending on the distance from the panel.  A 20 amp circuit will be 12 gauge.  A 15 amp circuit will be 14 gauge.  Unless you installed a dedicated circuit, there are other power users on the circuit with your sound equipment.  However large your power cable is, the IEC320 connector on the end of it, and thus the cable too, is only rated for 15 amps no matter how large the wire.  From there, your plan is to change the last three feet of this long series LC circuit at great expense and expect to make an improvement in sound quality that increases in relation to how much you spend.  Think about it.
That is another question — the Audio Envy OE p3 cable is grounded, while the OE p2 cable is not grounded. The site states that one cable should be grounded and the rest not grounded. I’ve not read that about any other cable.
https://audioenvy.com/product/power-cord/ocean-elite-copy/

I’ve not read that about any other cable.

@bob540

And for a very good reason. It’s Dangerous!
If the audio equipment, the power cord is connected to, requires the safety equipment grounding conductor!

The EGC (Equipment Grounding Conductor) purpose is to provide a low impedance path for ground fault current to return to the source. Source is the main electrical service panel grounded service neutral conductor. The small signal ground wire in an interconnect could never handle the high inrush current of a hot 120V to chassis ground fault. Not only could/would it damage the interconnect cable it could very well damage the signal ground circuit inside the audio equipment that becomes the ground fault circuit path for current to return to the source the grounded power cord is connected to.

Jim
.
@bob540 said:

Max current requirement is 2000/120 = approx. 16.6 amps. Not sure what amps that circuit is on (can’t get to it easily due to junk in garage), but I haven’t blown anything yet. Of course, I have other equipment on that line too.

bob540,

I would suggest you clear a path to the electrical panel and see what size the breaker is that feeds the existing branch circuit that feeds your audio equipment now.

Depending on the room of the house it is located it could very well be a 15 amp convenience outlet circuit. 15 amp breaker connected to #14awg copper wire.

I would recommend before spending your money on an aftermarket power cord for the amp first hire an electrician and install a new 20 amp dedicated branch circuit. Because of the size of the amp I would recommend #10awg copper wiring.

If the existing branch circuit you are using now is a convenience outlet circuit I would consider you have a second 20 amp branch circuit installed for the other associated audio equipment. The second 20 amp branch circuit could be fed with #12awg copper wire. (Make sure the electrician installs both 20 amp breakers on the same Hot Line, leg, in the electrical panel. Both on L1 or both on L2. Not one on L1 and the other on L2.)


Why #10awg wire?

A 20 amp breaker will handle a continuous load of 20 amps all day long without tripping open. Continuous is defined by the NEC as 3 hours or more.
A 20 amp breaker will easily pass 40 amps of short quick draws of current all day long without tripping open.

So what’s the problem? VD, (Voltage Drop), on the Line. The length and size of the branch circuit wiring in most cases is the cause of VD at the end of the branch circuit’s connected load end.

For a descent size power amplifier fluctuating VD caused by the power supply of the amp trying to recharge the filter caps when the amp is pushed by the listener playing a music source with high dynamic material, will cause fluctuating VD on the mains.

My understanding is a power amplifier’s power supply doesn’t like the voltage fluctuating on the AC mains. Amps like the mains voltage to be steady, and remain steady, even when the current draw on the mains wiring is varying/fluctuating due to the connected load.
The VD in question here is not caused by a steady continuous draw of current on the branch circuit wiring.

Nelson Pass:
https://www.passlabs.com/technical_article/power-supplies-commentary-for-consumers/

Post by Ralph - Manufacturer, Atma-Sphere Music Systems:
https://www.audioasylum.com/audio/cables/messages/17/174988.html

Dynamic Headroom:
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/dynamic-headroom


Here’s a quote from a Pro Audio web site, old post.
Around 1984 when I bought my first QSC power amp I called QSC after reading that it has 3db of headroom. I was told that the 300 watt rms rated amp could produce 600 watts of peak power when needed.


That means if I did a rim shot on the snare drum to make it louder or kick the bass drum harder when hitting a crash cymbal there would be enough power reserve for this and the amp would not clip. I remember the guy telling me its like snapping my fingers and then waiting a few seconds and snapping them again.
https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=139460.10


VD:
http://www.adamselectric.coop/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Voltage-Drop.pdf


Jim
.
cakyol
How much power does your amp require ? Add up the wattage of all channels (in case you have a multichannel amp) of your amp, multiply that by 2.5 to account for losses and very dynamic music passages and the peak power requirement, and that is how much power you need to draw from your mains outlet. Divide that by your mains rms voltage (typically 120 in the US) and that is roughly your current requirement.
That's a pretty silly exercise. To determine the power an amplifier requires, just look at its back panel or spec sheet, where its current draw will be listed. The correlation between actual current draw and audio output in watts is dependent on the amplifier's class of operation.
Anticables Level 3 power cord...superb, looks amazing, US Made!
cleeds,

That is why the factor of 2.5 was mentioned.... to account for differences in the class of the amplifier and more as described below:

The back panel measurement is done with a 1khz STEADY sine wave signal. The REALITY is that with music, especially if you happen to be listening with max power on, the dynamic passages may require a lot more power.

In addition, the speaker load impedance is not constant. With different frequencies, it may sometimes drop down to as low as 1 or 2 ohms, in which case a LOT more power is drawn than mentioned on the back panel.

The safety factor of 2.5 takes into account all those situations.  I just did not want to go into all the detail but it seems like some people need the explanations.


cakyol

That is why the factor of 2.5 was mentioned.... to account for differences in the class of the amplifier ...
Huh?
The back panel measurement is done with a 1khz STEADY sine wave signal ...
Nonsense. The current rating of any appliance is the current rating. I don’t care if you’re talking about a refrigerator, furnace, or audio amplifier. An audio amplifier is typically spec’d to include current draw at idle and maximum power.

You cannot accurately determine an amplifier’s current requirement by using calculations involving solely its audio output in watts and your rules-of-thumb. And why bother? The info you need is almost always on the back panel, the user manual and the spec sheet.
cleeds,

Please read a bit more about amps, dynamic & transient loads
cakyol
Please read a bit more about amps, dynamic & transient loads
Please feel free to share any documentation to support your claim that appliances have current requirements in excess of that defined by the manufacturer. That appliances have "dynamic and transient loads" is a given and doesn’t support your claim.

Please feel free to share any measurements you have made that also confirm your claim; if you choose do do that, please identify the appliance so that we can attempt to duplicate your measurements. These are very easy measurements to make.

Are you familiar with the NEC? IEEE? OSHA?

It amazes me how quickly and loudly some will argue about things that are easily measured. There’s no reason to dispute this stuff. <SMH>
As I said previously, please read some more books about amps, especially when the speaker load drops to 1 or 2 ohms of impedance at certain frequencies.

Here is some very basic education to start with:
https://geoffthegreygeek.com/speaker-impedance-changes-amplifier-power/

All this is for over-engineering and increasing the safety margins so you can sleep better at nite :)


Reach out to audiogon member Bill, aka Grannyring, he makes great cables at great prices. Sells them under the “accoustic bbq” moniker. You won’t be disappointed.
Cleeds -
Nonsense. The current rating of any appliance is the current rating. I don’t care if you’re talking about a refrigerator, furnace, or audio amplifier. An audio amplifier is typically spec’d to include current draw at idle and maximum power.

Good morning, I completely agree.  Current ratings on labels for items sold in US have plenty of safety factor built in.  True, there is a relationship between speaker load/impedance/frequencies.  But you are not going to trip breakers or start fires based on the music you play - well, maybe some music might :).  Bottom line, if the device came from manufacture with a standard NEMA 5-15 plug (assuming legal/approved US product), it will not exceed 15A period (probably much less).  I have seen too many amps that claim a gazillion watts times 7 channels and still run all day on standard 15A outlet.  The math does not add up.  Manufactures often exaggerate wattage ratings but the ratings on the labels are more realistic and verified by third parties.  Happy Listening!

The power you have going from your panel to your plug is just as important. If you haven’t run dedicated lines to your outlet, upgrading your power cords would be a waste of money IMHO
You didn't mention whether or not you have a power conditioner. I had a very slight hum/buzz with the volume turned up and nothing playing until I got a power conditioner and the noise vanished. It also provides protection form spikes, like lightning hits.

I'd recommend one, and as far as a power cord goes, I think $100-150 is right. According to the cable company, the longer the power cord, the better (opposite of interconnects and speaker cables), but don't make loops out of excess cord as that creates a magnetic field. Try to keep cables from touching each other, especially if running parallel. I have entry level signal,  gutwire and wire world, and they're fine. Just make sure it is flexible. My signal one is thick and hard to maneuver.
"....According to the cable company, the longer the power cord, the better...."

Do you really believe that?
speelerr1 posts

08-28-2020
9:37am

Bottom line, if the device came from manufacture with a standard NEMA 5-15 plug (assuming legal/approved US product), it will not exceed 15A period (probably much less). I have seen too many amps that claim a gazillion watts times 7 channels and still run all day on standard 15A outlet.

Bottom line, if the device came from manufacture with a standard NEMA 5-15 plug (assuming legal/approved US product), it will not exceed 15A period (probably much less).
Actually for the manufacturer to use a 5-15P plug it’s not 15 amp but rather 12 amps [continuous] FLA load. Continuous is defined as three hours or more. This does not apply to non continuous loads.

I have seen too many amps that claim a gazillion watts times 7 channels and still run all day on standard 15A outlet.
What will and does suffer is the amp’s SQ performance as well as output power.

Please read my post above post dated 8-27-2020 at 8:20am.

As for how a circuit breaker works.
Here is an old white paper but still holds true for NEMA and UL electrical safety standards and requirements.

https://goodsonengineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/CircuitBreakerMyths_web.pdf

Jim
.
Maze Audio REF4 is a very good power cord in terms of materials, design and build quality, making it a very good value. It is comparable to cords costing four times as much. The reason? Buying directly from the manufacturer. And it will get you at least 2/3 of the way toward the sound quality of the “insanely expensive” cables such Shunyata. I use both in my system. 
I also like the Signal Cables Silver Reference ($250 with upgraded Furutech connectors.) That one replaced the PS Audio AC-12 power cord that costs $1,000.